Michelle Obama is gracing newsstands across Spain this month– but it’s not her famous arms that are on display.

On the cover of Magazine Fuera de Serie, the first lady’s head is featured on the body of a semi-naked woman, draped in the American flag with a headscarf sometimes associated with slaves.

Althea Legal-Miller for Clutch magazine aptly writes: “Perhaps because it seems so obviously offensive, the mind attempts to rationalize; ‘Did this get lost in translation, or is this as racist as I think?’”

Spanish Magazine de Fuera Shows Michelle Obama as Topless Slave

(An blurred version of the magazine cover for Fuera de Serie)

Miller has more information on the shockingly inappropriate cover:

The magazine cover for the feature article “Michelle Tataranieta De Esclava, Dueña De América” (Michelle Granddaughter of a Slave, Lady of America) is the brainchild of white French/English fine artist Karine Percheron-Daniels.  Her mixed-media portrait superimposes Obama’s head onto the famous art-historical body of an African Guadeloupean female slave painted by French artist Marie-Guilhelmine Benoist in 1800. 

Percheron-Daniels’ portrait, First Lady, was not commissioned for the Spanish magazine cover, but is part of a larger series of “famous nudes” that includes Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II, Abraham Lincoln, and President Barack Obama.  In defense of her controversial series, the artist argues that she offers the viewer an “alternative unexpected reality” that allows us to “view famous individuals in a different way.”

Apparently, the Spanish-language article praises the first lady’s accomplishments and deems her the “gran mujer” (great lady) behind the American president.

“In the shadow of the U.S. President is a person whose popularity ratings exceed those of Barack’s own. This person is none other than his wife Michelle… To find out how Michelle has managed to seduce the American people . . . [we] detail the secrets of a woman has not [just] only won the heart of Barack Obama,” an except reads.

Regardless, Miller maintains: “Let’s be clear: This image has nothing to do with acknowledging Obama’s enslaved foremothers, and everything to do with reinforcing and extending the historical denial of black women’s individuality and agency.”

Seemingly oblivious to the international controversy, artist Percheron-Daniels commented: “I’m sure Obama would love it, and I hope that someday she can see it.”

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